Community members, elected officials and local dignitaries gathered at College of the Canyons’ University Center on Saturday, where newly elected Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, was ceremonially sworn into office.
Local dignitaries in attendance included Mayor Jason Gibbs, City Councilwoman Marsha McLean, William S. Hart Union High School District board member Cherise Moore, Saugus Union School District board President Chris Trunkey, SCV Water Agency Director Kathye Armitage, Stephanie English (on behalf of Supervisor Kathryn Barger) and Santa Clarita Valley Democrats Chairman Andrew Taban — who was announced as the new SCV field representative for Schiavo’s office.
She was sworn in by Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, who also tapped her as the new assistant majority whip — an announcement made at the ceremony.
In her speech, Schiavo said the cause she’s dedicated to, and the work that comes with it, is why she decided to run for office.
“Yes, the decision to run was hard and running was hard but what people are struggling with every single day is harder,” said Schiavo. “It was all worth it. Now to have this rare and incredible opportunity to bring our community’s priorities to Sacramento and to fight for the bold solutions we need to make everyone’s lives better.”
Schiavo narrowly edged out a 545-vote victory over Republican incumbent Suzette Martinez
Valladares in November, following redistricting that dropped Simi Valley and added several more neighborhoods within the San Fernando Valley.
Schiavo ran on a platform that focused on the homelessness crisis, combating gun violence, expanding health care and women’s reproductive rights —- issues she made a point to highlight during her speech.
“People are dying because they don’t have the health care that they deserve. People are losing their homes because the cost of living is too high. People who are outside in the rain with nowhere to get warm and their belongings wet and destroyed, because they’re unhoused. Our neighbors have lost their homes to fires,” said Schiavo. “An entire generation is living with the trauma that gun violence brings and women are now navigating a world in which we no longer get to make choices about our own bodies.”
Gibbs made a point of highlighting some of the state issues facing the city of Santa Clarita — such as housing, public safety, and protecting local control being among the most prominent — and said he looked forward to working with her on those issues.
“For me personally, I want to say that regardless of the issue, I truly believe that you’re here for the right reasons,” said Gibbs. “As I was sworn in as mayor, I had the pleasure of both my daughter and having my son with me, and having your child with you I know you’re here for the right reasons. I wish you the best of luck.”
Gibbs also presented a certificate on behalf of the city and McLean bestowed a city pin. Schiavo was also presented a scroll on behalf of the absent Barger.
“Coming together for this community swearing-in is really important to me. As we start on this adventure together, this journey together, it is really important to me and so I’m so happy to be with you all today,” said Schiavo.